This paper investigates orality and literacy in historical breaking points in the technology of writing. Through poetry that challenges the limits of the written word the paper focuses on materiality; visuality and orality. The first breaking point is that of the printing press and its effects on literacy in Europe. Here the Spanish poet Luis de G√≥ngora and his relationship to the new technologies of writing and printing in the early modern era stands as example. The next breaking point is that of late 19th century France; where the emerging capitalism and broadened literacy in combination with editorials and newspapers changed the landscape of writing technologies and practices. In this epoch; the poetry of St√©phane Mallarm√© articulates the tension between on the one hand orality and literacy; and between a self-reflexive writing (of poetry) and a writing of the masses (in media) on the other hand. The third breaking point is that of the present digitization of writing; which is contrasted to earlier breaking points. By investigating the historical preconditions of different writing practices the paper offers historical perspectives on the digitization of writing.